The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a difficult position heading into the NBA offseason. They will have limited cap space and resources to retool a roster that was unceremoniously bounced from the first round of the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns.
The backcourt situation is in flux because of the impending free agencies of Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso, and Talen Horton-Tucker, but the Lakers could also be looking at several holes at center. Montrezl Harrell has a player option that he is widely expected to opt-out of, while Marc Gasol could choose to retire or play for his native Spain.
However, the biggest question at the big man position is what Los Angeles will do about Andre Drummond. He is also expected to command more money in the market than what the Lakers can potentially offer. Drummond has vocalized his desire to stay with the Lakers and continue playing with players like LeBron James, but he has also already balked at the idea of taking a steep discount to stay in L.A.
Drummond was able to join the Lakers after being bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but his time there did not come without its bumps. One particular play caught the attention of the Shaquille O’Neal and the Inside the NBA crew as Drummond topped the Shaqtin’ A Fool’s Worst plays of the 2020-21 season via NBA on TNT:
In the clip, Drummond is seen holding the basketball at the top of the arc for several seconds before making a poor drive attempt to the rim that results in an airballed layup. The center oftentimes struggled when left to isolate against a defender, and this was probably the worst showing of the year.
However, Drummond is still a talented and useful player when put in a lesser role, so it would benefit him to return to the Lakers to play off James and Anthony Davis.
Jared Dudley does not believe signing Andre Drummond affected Lakers
Drummond’s signing with the team did not go smoothly initially, as it disrupted the starting rotation and wrinkled Gasol’s feathers. Drummond had a variety of factors working against him as the Lakers tried to get him acclimated as quickly as possible, but ultimately Jared Dudley does not believe that it hurt Los Angeles. In fact, Dudley argued that Drummond’s presence was a positive and made them better.